As promised in my first drawing challenge post, I continued practicing drawing skills with freehand drawings from life and photographs.

The focus for most of my drawing efforts in the last part of May and first part of June was a large portrait in which the subject is human. I did a lot of subject study sketches. Mostly facial features, which have to be as accurate as I can make them. Those studies are all from reference photographs provided for the project.

But I also worked from life on a few things not related directly to the portrait while the portrait drawing was in progress. Once it was finished at mid-month, I had more free time to draw other things.

sketches of leaves by Carrie L. Lewis

This drawing is a life drawing. It’s not complete because I was walking the cat (yes, on a leash). Thomas decided to lie in the shade, so I took advantage of the half hour to draw.

The plant is a Mock Apple bush. This particular drawing shows the growth end of one of the branches. I’ve never noticed the leaflets at the base of each leaf, but that’s part of the reason for doing life drawings. Observation.

I used my favorite pencil, a Turquoise 6B, on an ordinary sketch pad. After laying down the values, I did a little blending with a worn bristle brush. You can see the effects of that most clearly in the light middle values around the highlights in the topmost leaf.

The lowest leaf also shows additional pencil work over a brush blending and the white leaf beside it hints at what can be done with the brush alone after blending another, darker area.

I’m quite pleased with this drawing. It’s not directly related to the big portrait currently on the easel, but there is a lot of foliage in that piece, so every leaf I draw contributes to the overall success of the portrait.

At least that’s what I tell myself!

sketches of human eyes by Carrie L. Lewis

This sample is directly related to the portrait. I spent a lot of time sketching the sitter’s left eye, since it’s the most visible, the other being partially covered by hair.

I thought I knew how to draw eyes until I started doing these studies. After trying to capture the look of someone smiling AND squinting into the sun, I realized I didn’t know very much at all.

I have several pages of studies. This is the best one.

It’s also the most entertaining. I grin every time I look at it. What fun it is being an artist!